L.A. Kings vs Chicago Blackhawks Post Game: Forget Terry Murray, Let’s Move Forward

If I yell at a deaf man, tell a blind one to open his eyes or question why a dead one is just laying there, I’m the dummy.

Getting upset at Terry Murray carries a similar futility. He is exactly who he is.

I heard Nick and Daryl defend him today but, even more, defend coaches in general and place the onus without exception on the players. I wish someone had asked them how it is the Penguins won the Cup after firing their coach (when they were out of a playoff spot at the time) if coaching was not the problem or how the St. Louis Blues this season can look like a completely different team after Davis Payne’s firing. There are so many examples over so many years. How does Phoenix, with a fraction of the talent, keep winning? How does Nashville remain competitive? How did the Lightning do it last season? How can Pittsburgh be so good when missing Crosby and Malkin over such long periods of time? Would the L.A. Kings be the same now without Kopitar and Richards? All coincidence? Coaches matter and they matter more than Nick and Daryl led on, as do the system and culture they create.

I wish someone had asked them whether they see much similarity in how the Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and the other “elite” teams in the league enter the zone or set up the play 5 on 5 compared to us, because you and I know, there isn’t much.

But that is exactly why I am setting forth a personal moratorium on Terry Murray.

This only applies to me, not you and certainly not Surly. He is hell-bent out of shape over tonight’s game and I don’t blame him. Bottom line for me is this: Dean Lombardi doesn’t have the courage to fire Terry Murray because it would be an admission of a second coaching mistake during his tenure and, absent a collapse, he will not be able to justify it. As such, Terry Murray stays and, for that reason, there is no sense in me pounding away at the factual representations of his system’s failure.

The Blackhawks beat us tonight 2-1.

We are moving forward.

We are going to focus on the players and the plays.

For the rest of this article, forgive me, because my mind is in a few different places at once and this may come across disarranged.

As I see it at this moment, my desire (since the preseason) for a Gagne-Richards-Williams line will come. I am sure of it. It’s a logical combination of players who have history, built-in chemistry and complementary styles. It is, for my purposes, our first line even if they are labeled the second.

As for the second first (hope that didn’t lose you), Anze Kopitar needs a left wing and a right wing. Dustin Penner, absent a player makeover, is not it. We have a hole at left wing. Dustin Brown is just not playing like a smart hockey player right now but he at least has history with Anze Kopitar and there is value there. He will be right wing. Andrei Loktionov had a below average game tonight and when young, skilled players have one bad game under the current regime, they are doomed (different rules apply to no talent, pylon, grinding veterans). Unless Lokti follows it up with a big one, I am not sure now that he sticks when Dustin Penner is set to return. I hope I am wrong. As such, Kopitar may see different wings on the left side. Stoll? Doubt it. Clifford. Perhaps. Hunter? Probably.

I don’t have a realistic (Read: one that I expect would ever really happen) solution to the bottom 6 from a player’s perspective because what I want will never be. Clifford-Loktionov-Kozun is a pipe dream – mine. For all the talk about wanting three scoring lines, it is just “talk.” This team will not get away from a top 6, checking line, energy line (in other words, “old school”) mentality. Don’t buy any of the crap that the Kings are trying to build three scoring lines in the literal sense. It’s not happening, again, under the current regime.

The fourth line won’t change because there is nothing there with which to change it. Richardson, Lewis, Moreau, Westgarth, etc. will all be cast and miscast in various roles.

We then get to Drew Doughty. I am so disappointed in Drew Doughty. I see number 8 out there and I miss him. I miss the “smart” player, the “composed” one, the “mature” one with the puck, the one that made “good” decisions defensively and wasn’t a liability, the one that you could count on during any part of the game, whether up, down or tied, the first minute or the last 30 seconds. The camp excuse, by his own admission, is not it. What is? I don’t know but I have $7 million undeserved guesses.

Jack Johnson is better but he needs to be even better than that. I do wish Jack released the puck faster. He has a hard wrist shot that, unlike the slapper, has a very high accuracy rate. More of that from the point, especially low shots, would create rebounds and, what we are sorely missing, second and third chances.

Slava Voynov is just a wonderful NHL defenseman and a pleasure to watch. He has it all – speed, smarts, a physical edge (not overpowering but enough to separate the man from the puck) and a cannon of a shot. He is also right handed…and Jack Johnson is left handed. Catch my drift? That failed Doughty-Johnson experiment (which wasn’t much of one in terms of time) had merit in its intentions. It’s time for Johnson and Voynov to become a pair. Put Doughty with Mitchell and Greene with Scuderi except against certain teams, I would bring in Alec Martinez in Greene’s stead…don’t hold your breath on this one though. It may be far too outside the box, even though it is a very tiny box.

As for Quick and Bernier, we have covered this. Jonathan needs a lot more starts…my feeble attempt at comedy.

Finally, Dean Lombardi has a choice to make. If he believes the players are not performing, then he can do nothing, preach patience and see if it all works out (which could be his job if the Kings fail to make the playoffs) or he can make the trade that will bring in depth scoring (for all the talk about Zach Parise, you know that is with tongue firmly planted in cheek). Depth scoring will cost us one of our young defensemen and nobody wants Thomas Hickey unless he comes with a 1st round pick. There is a lot of risk there – you are talking about taking a top 6 forward from a bad team (translated as that player being a 3rd line forward on a good team) or taking a veteran and established scorer from a team looking to dump salary or go into rebuilding, which will cost about the same depending on the contract left for said veteran.

Interesting options, eh?

There is a lot of danger in Dean Lombardi putting the offensive woes squarely on the players and then making changes consistent therewith…the biggest one being giving away valuable young assets and then learning after the fact, he was wrong and it wasn’t the players after all.

Late Post Script: For a brutal but quasi sadistically funny post game filled with GIF-Vision, check out The Royal Half’s Faces of Defeat.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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15 replies

  1. I came here to write a comment about Terry Murray in the postgame thread, only to find this article is supposed to be not talking about Murray.

    Well, I dont know where else to put this. I’ll just say this.

    I haven’t always been against Terry Murray. There were always shortcomings in the King’s game, but when they were “on,” I really liked the system. I thought it maximized what was available. Take the 3-0 win vs SJ last year, the one with the lob pass goal to Brown. The Kings absolutely dominated SJ from the get go, and it was entirely tactical. You see SJ against other teams create such havoc on the forecheck, players are flying everywhere, pucks going at the net from everyone. This was the opposite. The Kings just calmly retrieved every SJ dump in and got it out of the zone easily.

    Offensively, there still wasn’t any speed or creativity, but I figured it would be that way with or without Terry Murray anyway because the team isn’t build for speed or creativity. The only way you can win with a team without any good goalscorers or elite wingers is to defend brilliantly and get enough dirty goals to win, and I felt Terry Murray was achieving that, even aiding the team.

    As long as that was the case, I was pro-Murray. He brought fantastic defense and structured play at the expense of creativity.

    My problem now is that everything has basically gone to shit with him. It’s not just that the system isn’t working as well this year, or even the terrible line-up choices and ice-time allotment, which has always been par for the course with Murray but never seemed to bite the team this badly. It’s all of that together, combined with the team seeming to tune him out. He’s making bad decisions, his system isn’t working, and the players seem to know it. More than anything, really, it just seems like the man is plain out of ideas. He knows how to do one thing, coach one way, have his team play one way, but now it’s not working anymore, and he’s lost.

    Is it possible he could turn it around? Sure. But it really seems like the jig was up a couple weeks ago, and right now this is just bonus-disaster time. I’m not articulating what I mean by that the best but, I guess at this point I feel like, whatever Murray still does well and still doesn’t do well, it’s irrelevant. He’s done. Even if he wasn’t failing as badly as he is right now, even if they’d won a couple more games so far, it really just seems like every indication is pointing to the fact that it’s just time for someone new regardless of all that, and it seems like the players feel that way too.

    The only caveat I can really say to that is this. The team is still pretty good defensively, they just can’t score enough to win. I think the assumption from many Kings’ fans is that Terry Murray is holding the offense back. Well what if he 1. isn’t, and 2. what if he’s still the main reason the Kings defense is so good?
    We could see zero increase in offense from a new coach while the defense declines.

    Because, and this is the part I’m not sure you can put on Murray, who is supposed to be the goal scorer on this team?

    Last season the worst offensive team in the league, the New Jersey Devils, scored 171 goals for the season. To be a real cup contender, you at least have to be in the top 10. 10th best was St Louis last season with 236 goals.

    When I look at the Kings, here’s what I think are reasonable projections for goals from these players in an average season regardless of who is coach.

    1st line:
    Dustin Penner: 19
    Anze Kopitar: 30
    Dustin Brown: 22

    2nd line:

    Simon Gagne: 21
    Mike Richards: 26
    Justin Williams: 23

    3rd line:

    Kyle Clifford: 6
    Jarret Stoll (getting 3rd line ice time with poor wingers): 12
    Brad Richardson: 9

    4th line:

    Andrei Loktionov (on 4th line): 4
    Colin Fraser: 3
    Ethan Moreau: 3

    Defense:

    Drew Doughty: 11
    Jack Johnson: 9
    Willie Mitchell: 4
    Rob Scuderi: 1
    Matt Greene: 2
    Slava Voynov: 6

    That’s 211 goals. That’s what I believe is the mean for this team. It could go as high as 220-225 if Penner, Brown, Gagne, Williams, Stoll, etc score a little more than I projected, but the paces I projected for most of them are a lot higher than they’re on right now, so it could easily be 10-15 less than I projected too.

    211 goals would have ranked 25th in the NHL last year, 1 goal more than Columbus, 2 more than the Kings were last year and just behind Montreal, Nashville, and Toronto.

    So regardless of the coach, how is this going to get to 236 goals? If that’s even enough. Boston managed 244 last regular season, they only got better in the playoffs, and that was without a functioning powerplay. Chicago had 252, Vancouver 258, San Jose 244. Even Tampa and their trap had 241. That’s where you want to be. How are the Kings going to squeeze out another 40 goals from this roster? Kopitar could get as high as 35, but he’s not a goal scorer, 40 would be a career-high season not a mean. Penner get 25-28 instead of 19? It could just as easily be 9. Brown get 28 instead of 22? Sure when hes at his best, but he looks unmotivated and slow out there, I’d say 18 is more likely than 28. Gagne get more than 21? IF he stays healthy, maybe, but even so that’s another 5 at best, 5 you’re just as likely to loose from Penner. Mike Richards I think I’ve hit pretty dead on with 26. He could get you 30, though. Clifford might not even get 6 this year. Stoll could get 14 instead of 12 (or the other way around, he’s looked poor too). Richardson could get a couple more. Let’s say Loktionov, Fraser, Moreau, Doughty, and Johnson each get 1 more, maybe give Doughty and JJ 2 more. The rest of the D are pretty maxed out besides maybe Voynov, give him 2 more maybe.

    If everyone I mentioned maxes out, and guys like Penner don’t counteract that by underperforming, you’ve probably got 15 more goals. You’re still at 226, which is basically league-average. You still don’t have the offense of a cup contender.

    So while I think Murray is done here, I think the roster is a problem too. The top 6 is all 20 goal scorers and no 30 or (god forbid) 40. This team still lacks it’s Hossa/Kane/Sharp/Marleau/Ryan/Perry/Franzen/Daniel Sedin/Iginla/Stamkos/St Louis and the list goes on. The San Jose Sharks have what seems like a billion wingers that would all be if not the best one for the Kings, 2nd after Justin Williams. Couture, Clowe, Marleau, Havlat, Pavelski… That’s the top 6. The bottom 6 is even worse for the Kings. I doubt Lombardi ever imagined they would miss Simmonds and Handzus this much (not to mention the Oilers best goal scorer).

    The team still has no firepower, and there’s not much the coach can do about that. You need top-end talent. Having a bunch of 20 goal scorers is nice but it’s not nearly enough. What if Crosby and Malkin were just 20 goal scorers? Penguins wouldn’t be the same. The best offensive team last season, the Canucks, didn’t have much forward depth at all. What if Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler had scored 20 instead of 40? That’s 40 less goals, below average in league scoring, and not the same team at all.

    The Kings need a 40-goal guy. They have their playmaking center on each of the top 2 lines, Kopitar and Richards, now they need elite wingers to work with. Dean Lombardi has done a good job drafting NHL players and fielding a team that can compete for a low playoff seed every season, but I think the progress was overestimated. The roster still has huge holes everywhere. Lombardi never drafted an elite winger, and never traded for one. He never drafted an elite goal scorer anywhere. Kyle Clifford is a no-name who impressed Lombardi with his confidence and played a couple good months of hockey, but that’s it. He shouldn’t be playing third line minutes for a true cup contender. The whole bottom six besides Stoll is a joke. Stoll himself is wildly overpaid, as is Matt Greene. Between those two you could be paying for Zach Parise right now. 6.5M, the price of a star sniper, is what you’re paying to Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene? That’s a problem.

    The wingers on all top three lines aren’t good enough. The 4th line isn’t good enough. Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty are great young top defensemen to have, but both have big holes in their games. Willie Mitchell, Rob Scuderi, and Slava Voynov are great for their roles. Matt Greene isn’t.

    Basically, Kopitar, Mike Richards, Doughty, Johnson, Mitchell, Scuderi, and Voynov are all good enough for where they are slotted and good enough value for what they are making (and Brad Richarson I suppose). Everyone else, 2/3 of the roster, is either not good enough for the spot in the lineup they currently occupy, or are overpaid for what they are.

    That’s how I see it. Dean Lombardi has been so busy looking for the final piece to add to his team (I guess that was supposed to be Mike Richards), I think everyone forgot that this team was never just one piece or away, or two. For me, this team still needs two new top line wingers, 1 or 2 bottom 6 forwards added, and someone to replace Matt Greene as the #6 defenseman.

    Until all that happens, the Kings won’t win anything whether Murray is coach or not.

    • Usually when I read a long post such as yours I find it confusing and lacking substance. Not the same here. That is a heck of a good post, and honestly many points I’d considered myself.

      I do agree w you wrt DL. Everyone has made a big deal of the tremendous depth he’s brought to the organization. If that is in fact true, why after five years are the only forwards (other than Schenn who translates into MR) on the team he’s drafted Clifford and Lewis who are responsible over a quarter of the way into the season for one goal? It’s one thing to build from the back end out. Fine. It’s another to do it to such an extent that the idea of skill and touch around the net is totally ignored.

      It’s a pity. Also, the evidence you give regarding total offense at the end of a season… what is someone gonna say? You’re wrong? I’m not going to say that. It is a very very big issue. Fine that they are able to hold the Blackhawks to two goals. But if you can’t score yourself you’re just not going to win enough to be an elite team.

    • Wow, great post. This and Surly or Scribe’s (can’t remember who said it) article on our lack of 5 on 5 scoring are really convincing that we just don’t have it right now. I wonder if TM would coach differently if we had a few 40-goal scorers…?

  2. I disagree that firing TM would be an admission of a 2nd coaching hire mistake. No matter how much he needs to go now, or how much this team is underachieving currently, TM’s record as coach of the Kings is undeniable and even Leiweke knows better than to call it a bad hire. The question is only whether Tim or Dean can see past that, recognize a dead end, and find a better option. The next coach is going to have to be “the chosen one” and at that point, DL’s job may depend on it.

    • I agree. I don’t think it makes sense to call a fired coach a failed hiring. Coaches come and coaches go all the time, that’s the way it is. People grow tired of each other (SHUT UP WOMAN I’M TRYING TO WATCH THE GAME!), and start to tune out their coaches and coaches start picking at certain players in certain ways.

  3. Baring a complete breakdown or mutiny Terry Murray is not going anywhere until the end of the year.
    Dean Lombardi can’t sit in his GM seat and see the team HE BUILT fail.
    Dean is starting to show he isn’t all that and a bag of pucks.
    Dean don’t quit your day job for the World Series of Poker. You suck! That whole Doughty showdown, where you were so tough, telling everyone you were not going to pay Doughty more than Kopitar. You made a Kopitar a promise that nobody was going to be paid more per year than Kopitar.
    Dean, did you really fine Doughty 25K a day for every day he missed of camp?
    Again, you really look bad, as you have deceived every fan of this franchise again.
    Do I have to remind you of the Scott Parse bullshit, telling everyone he is a top 6 forward after you once again got played by Kovalchuk?
    Dean, you are in denial. I think its fair to say that trade for Penner is a bust.
    I’ll give you credit Dean for making the trade for Richards, and signing Simon Gagne.
    Lucky for the Kings, Richards is stud, he has not yet been ruined by that boa constricter of a system, that kills production.
    Murray in his postgame interview says “Holding them at two goals is good. They are the leading scoring team in the conference. We had lots of good looks here tonight. We ended up tying the game at 1-1. Then they won a faceoff to make it 2-1. After that, we had four or five tremendous looks and we are just having a tough time finding the back of the net right now. There’s not a better look that you could hope for in a couple of those situations, but it’s just not going in.”
    I am seeing many posts which all state the same thing Fire Murray.
    Terry if you want to blame this on the players go right ahead.
    What if the players blame Terry Murray’ system?
    Dean you are at practices, surely there must be something you see as being worng.
    Terry Murray is starting to play the musical lines again. If you have not played with a certain player and you have no idea what and where he is going to be, well who is to blame for that?
    Loktionov is doing his best at wing, but it appears he has that pass first, shoot second.
    The game plan according to Bob Miller and Jim Fox was to get more shots on net and not make an extra pass. You have taken a natural center and have him playing on wing, which looks like he is learning but he is still looking to pass, instead of shooting.
    Defense, tonight seemed to play and contain Sharp.Kane/Towes.
    Personally I would like to see Mitchell/Voynov, Johnson/Scudert, Greene/Doughty together as pairings.
    I end this response with a few things:
    1. Fire Murray
    2. Fire Murray
    3. Fire Murray
    4. Stop mixing lines both on offense and defense.
    5. Get Ruchardson and Lewis back on the 4th line.
    6.Somewone change the systerm with a new coach. Not a recyccled ex NHL coach, someone who has a different approach and system that will increase scoing.
    7.Lombardi give Murray that dreaded vote of confidence,
    8.Get rid of Murray and put in Stevens for the remainder of the season. He has coached Richards and Gagne so he should have a system that isn’t something as boring and hopefully change what the current team.

  4. My quick 2 cents…I’m also fed up w/ Murray, however, when you have players (Clifford and Hunter) who miss open nets in consecutive games that cost the team points…that’s not a coaching issue.

    Some of our guys can’t even score when the net is fucking vacant. That’s how bad this is.

    I wonder what it feels like to be a fan of a team who can actually score goals. It must be exciting.

    As of now, our team is completely over-hyped and we simply stand as a mediocre team.

  5. Here is my simplified prediction:

    It won’t matter what players come or go. I don’t care if Lombardi pulls a rabbit out of his hat and gets Parise. If Terry Murray is still coaching the team by season’s end, the Kings will miss the playoffs.

    The offensive approach of the coach is too predictable, and there are enough Western Conference teams who have improved from last season that we won’t be able to beat consistently with this same approach. When we play good teams (Detroit, San Jose, Vancouver, Chicago), I have no confidence that the Kings have any chance of beating them. I can only remember the Kings having one easy win (St. Louis), and the rest of the wins have been a grind.

    I am a loyal Kings fan for life. But my concerns about the head coach from the beginning of the season have been substantiated, and I have no hope that this season can be anything special without a coaching change.

  6. First, everyone, please talk about Terry Murray. My moratorium applies to me. Second, the blind, deaf, dead man analogy is the only reason. I want to still hear your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. and I will address them in the comments. To be productive and avoid repetition, I just don’t see the reason to write focused articles about it anymore. Besides, Surly can do that :)

    • I’ll help you out… Fire Terry Murray.

      Not everything can be blamed on him. Missing open nets, missing defensive assignments, etc. fall on the players.

      But…

      The Kings have 26 points and are in 4th place in the Pacific. We have at least 1 game on the rest. Without those three shutouts, we would probably be sitting between 20-24. We didn’t play lights out during Quick’s 3 game shutout streak, he did but we only scored a few goals a game, if I remember right we met our quota averaged over the three.

      The offense is so predictable that it’s amusing in a “I could cry right now but I’ll just laugh instead to hide my tears” sort of way. If you notice, the main way the Kings score is either from the point through a screen or a one timer. Not too many goals are scored such as the one Stoll scored last night. The point shots have a low percentage and from my observations, the Kings are one of the worst teams in regards to not hitting the net slapshots. While I understand not every shot needs to be on target, most of the time the shots that are off don’t appear to be disguised passes.

      This dump the puck and cycle along the endboards just has me pulling my hair out. There is an element of the cycle that you need. But watch the good teams. They cycle to set something up. We cycle just to…. I don’t know, cycle? The only set play of the cycle I ever really see is throwing the puck back to the D, they throw it between each other and then shoot it and don’t hit the net because you can’t have a Kings shot without it not being on goal. No wonder their shot totals are so low… they can’t hit the fucking net!

      It’s just time for a change.

    • I can’t resist: New Nickname for Terry Murray “Tommy”.

      “That deaf, dumb and blind kid, sure plays a mean pinball”

      Written by Pete Townsend.

      Daltrey was just here doing Tommy, wonder if “Tommy” the coach was in attendance.

      “See me, feel me, touch me, heal me, see me, feel me, touch me, heal me”

      I love the song, the opera, the movie, but I have to admit when one of my favorite LA Punk bands The Dickies use this in the song “If Stewart Could Talk” , for those far younger than me, look it up on youtube. The song is a reference to a males parts, and Leonard the singer calls his member “Stewart”.
      They ad a puppet which you have to see.

  7. I put in a post script to the article – a link to the Royal Half’s post game. Check it out.

  8. Nick and Daryl are kind of in a tough spot.

    Yes they are responding to what they perceive are mostly ill informed or non educated hockey fans who they also think are reacting too quickly to what they think what would be an “easy fix”. (Note to N and D … it would be a fix…get over it).

    But the bigger issue for them .. .and it’s why I think they continually respond the way they do … Is I they don’t want to be responsible for stoking the flames of dissent among the fans.

    They’re gonna blame the players … because that’s the easiest thing to do .. you can’t just “fire” a player… you have to trade him.

    If they start agreeing with the fans, then the hot seat becomes molten lava and out goes Murray.

    Nick … Darryl …. we get it … you’re protecting your guys … get over it. You’re not pulling the wool over our eyes on this one.

  9. If you speak to anyone employed by AEG, or an affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, you will never hear a real answer.

    You may be pointing out something very obvious, or making any sort of critique of the team, coach, GM even if they know its true, they can’t validate it, simply because they would be biting the hand that feeds them.

    Nick/Daryl/Fox/Miller have to be PC, otherwise they are going to have problems.

    The guys who do the Kingscast also have to very careful about what they say, they might get their semi-all access pass 86′d.
    Pretty much everyone who is given some sort of access to the team, really has to watch their P’s and Q’s.

    Even if you listen to NHL Live, EJ Hradek who I question sometimes because of his opinions seems to give an answer that does not make any team, GM, player look bad, even if it is very true.

    When the show NHL Live started before the season during training camp, HJ kept insisting the Kings needed to sign Drew Doughty, otherwise they would be in trouble. NHL Live had Helen Elliott on to update the soap opera. The only story that got more coverage was the Sidney Crosby update.

    Terry Murray is the Jim Mora of hockey. Please read the Wikipedia bio of Jim Mora, its almost scary, because “Tommy” and Mora must have been fraternal twins.

    I think most of us probably feel the same about the Kings, and just want them to win.

    First, if we really didn’t give a shit about this team, from the management on down, we wouldn’t be here. We all would love to be wrong, see the team, coach prove us wrong.

    Second, most of us feel cheated. You pay good money to go a game. You expect excitement, and entertainment for your dollars spent. Yes this is entertainment, just it won’t be on Blu-Ray anytime soon, or streamed via Netflicks, or on demand.
    Hell it won’t be in a much cheaper venue like a movie theater.

    Three, most of us own some sort of memoribilia with a Kings logo. Everything from keychains, car window decals, hats, shirts, jerseys. Most of this stuff is not sold by the Kings, or officially licensed. Like it or not, we are advertising, promoting the Kings, which means more money and attention for them.

    Four, we are tired of being lied to, promised things, which never seem to come to fruition.

    Five, we are the Brooklyn Dodgers of hockey “Wait Till Next Year”, seems to be a coping mechanism we use to hide being frustrated, pissed off, fed up.

    The system which Terry Murray believes in, is about 15 years old, when clutching and grabbing were very common. The neutral zone trap is extinct, the game has openned up, but “Tommy” is slow, or just clueless.

    When I read “Tommy” is happy they only allowed Chicago 2 goals, and the Kings, scored 1 goal, but had some good looks, really goes beyond frustration for me.

    I thought you were supposed to score more goals than the other team.
    When did “Looks” become the same as goals?

    I agree not all of this is on “Tommy”, he isn’t out on the ice. The players are responsible for stepping up, and helping the team out.
    That being said, the 5 v 5 scoring is a problem. If the team is not scoring 5 v 5, either the lines aren’t clicking, or the line combonations need to be changed .In theory it makes sense, The problem I see is too many changes both on offense and defense are made. I follow the Kings Insider updates, and it always seems like there are changes being made way to frequently.

    “Tommy” is a Tweaker!

  10. Neil you’re right everyone is super political within the hockey community. People who rely on covering these teams for their livelihoods typically become afraid of pissing anyone off, so they make an art form out of talking without saying much.

    Someone mentioned Murray’s system is predictable on offense, and it is. We’ve already talked this to death, but one point i’ll make that I haven’t made is that predictable is sort of the NHL way right now. Unless you have someone like Claude Giroux with the talent to make unpredictable plays and beat people 1-on-1, it’s hard to not be predictable. The game is so tight-checking, a lot of teams are resorting to just trying to “get shots on net” from wherever they can and hope for a lucky bounce or a rebound. That’s the Kings offense, but it’s also the Sharks offense and many other teams. The Sharks definitely get more clean opportunities because they have more firepower, and their coach is also smarter with implementing the strategy, but it’s still a similar strategy. Dump it in, forecheck, retrieve the puck, start cycling, get it to the net when it opens up.

    One thing that can be improved from a coaching perspective is the flow of it all. Some teams like the Sharks always seem to be in the right position on the cycle. Also through video it’s my belief the players are trained where to shoot and how to shoot. For instance, if the other team’s right wing defending in the defensive zone is to the inside of the ice, you shoot for the far corner, so if you miss or the rebound goes out that direction, your left defenseman is there to retrieve the puck. Teams like the Sharks always seem to have everything choreographed, they always retrieve pucks, wherever the puck rims there always seems to be a forward there. They have it all timed very well.

    And then of course there is the powerplay, penalty kill, and faceoffs. Faceoffs and powerplay, those two especially, are so much on the coach. You could fire Murray just for those areas. While I admit other teams have better depth than the Kings offensively and better speed, and better goal scorers, better talent period offensively many teams, the powerplay is really just the top three forwards on that first unit. Colorado is 2nd in powerplay right now, the Kings are 12th (and declining). Are Hejduk, Duchene, Stastny, Quincey, and Johnson really better than Kopitar, Richards, Williams, Johnson, and Doughty? They certainly have the quicker players and the most prototypical sniper in Hejduk, but it’s a crap shoot. It’s coaching.

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